UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Public sector capacities for transformative public policies

12 June 2024, 2:00 pm–3:15 pm

Public sector capacities for transformative public policies

Join UCL IIPP for the first of the IIPP Forum 2024's plenary sessions, taking place on Wednesday 12 June at 14:00 - 15:15 BST.

This event is free.

Event Information

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IIPP 2024 Forum

As part of the IIPP Forum 2024, UCL IIPP is hosting five plenary sessions. These sessions are an opportunity to rethink existing policy paradigms that will be followed by in-depth workshops that explore what these transformative ‘market shaping’ policy approaches look like in practice.

About the session

Governments globally are (re-)turning to diverse industrial policy instruments to fight multiple crises and tackle long-term societal challenges such as the climate emergency. Both mainstream and heterodox economists and social scientists have expressed support for the resurgence of state-led structural change, and there is a vibrant discussion about how industrial policy instruments should be made fit for purpose for today’s challenges. However, there is much less discussion about whether governments have the capacity to design, implement and evaluate an effective set of industrial and other transformative policies.

As the industrial strategy is being updated to fit the needs of 21st-century challenges and political realities, this session will investigate whether governments – and researchers – are updating the way to create capable agencies, effective coordination mechanisms and proper evaluation tools for new industrial policy mixes.

The transformative policy is shifting policy logic from fixing a variety of market and systems failures to actively shaping markets for desirable outcomes, and this requires governments to build appropriate organisations and public sector capacities to take on such tasks.

Meet the panel

Join this panel discussion with leading experts including Susana Borrás, Professor of Innovation and Governance at Copenhagen Business School, Busani Ngcaweni, Head of the National School of Government of South Africa, Francisco Gaetani​, Brazillian minister for public administration, Abeer Tahlak​, Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre For Government Innovation​, chaired by Rainer Kattel, IIPP Co-Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance.

Key information

How to register:

We are now fully booked for the FORUM's in-person attendance, but please register here to join us virtually. 

Read more about IIPP Forum 2024

About the Speakers

Susana Borrás

Professor at the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Susana Borras
Susana Borrás is Professor at the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark. She teaches and conducts research on the interaction betweengovernance and innovation, especially for the grand societal challenges, on topics like: Green innovation; the capacity of public sector organizations implementing green transitions; the design of innovation policy and its instruments; the governance of change and scale-up processes in socio-technical systems. She is currently leading CAPACITOR, a researchproject about the capacity of public sector organizations in green transitions.

For more than three decades Susana Borrás has been advising governments and institutions at international and national levels (European Commission, OECD, European Parliament, Danish government, etc. ). She is currently member of the editorial board of five international peer reviewed scientific journals. She has published extensively in international journals. Sheholds a Degree (UAB, Barcelona 1991) and a PhD (EUI, Florence 1996) in political science and sociology.

More about Susana Borrás

Busani Ngcaweni

Head of the National School of Government of South Africa

Busani Ngcaweni
Busani Ngcaweni is the Director-General of the National School of Government since March 2020. Before that he was the Head of Policy and Research in The Presidency. He was previously Chief of Staff (Deputy Director-General) to President and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa since 2014. He also served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Presidents Kgalema Motlanthe, Baleka Mbete and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. He joined the Policy Unit in The Presidency in 2005 as Senior Policy Analyst, having been Divisional Director at Umsobomvu Youth Fund.

He has balanced policy development, programme implementation, institution building and scholarly research to shape his application of state craft. Ngcaweni is a graduate of the University of Durban-Westville, the University of Natal, University of South Africa and Wits University. He is DPhil Research Fellow in Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg and Visiting Adjunct Professor at Wits School of Governance.

More about Busani Ngcaweni

Francisco Gaetani

Minister for public administration at Brazilian Government

Francisco Gaetani
Senior Fellow at the Brazilian Center of International Relations (CEBRI). Francisco Gaetani holds a PhD in Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is a Professor at EBAPE/FGV. He was executive secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, and director of the National School of Public Administration (ENAP). He is a member of the initiative Uma Concertação pela Amazônia and fellow at the Arapyaú Institute. More about Francisco Gaetani

Abeer Tahlak

Director of Innovation at Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre For Government Innovation

Abeer Tahlkak
Director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation
Director of Possibilities – Ministry of Possibilities

As part of the responsibilities of her current position, Abeer Tahlak supports the vision & agenda set in the UAE government to make the UAE the most innovative nation within both her roles as Director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation & Director of Possibilities at the Ministry of Possibilities where she supports the Chief Strategy & Government Innovation of the UAE in leading & managing the operations & the teams within both organizations.

Abeer was involved in both the setup and design of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) and the Ministry of Possibilities (MOP) where both have a mandate to stimulate and enrich the culture of innovation & introduce the platforms within the government sector that activates, implements, & tests new concepts of the next generation of governments.

On a personal level, Abeer Tahlak is a founding member of Tinkah, a multidisciplinary design firm which focuses on design communication & experiential design in addition to creating experimental expressions & items working hand in hand with artisans through The Foundry.

Abeer holds a BSC in Visual Communication Design from the American University of Sharjah, where she graduated with honors. She is also an alumnus of the Public Sector Innovation Diploma offered under the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation in partnership with Imperial College of London & currently enrolled in the Behavioral Economics Program under the Ministry of Interior in partnership with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

More about Abeer Tahlak

Rainer Kattel

Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)

Rainer Kattel
Rainer Kattel is Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). He has studied at the University of Tartu, Estonia, and the University of Marburg, Germany, in philosophy, political philosophy, classics and public administration.
He led Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance for 10 years, building it into one of the leading innovation and governance schools in the region. 

Professor Kattel has also served on various public policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and European Science Foundation. He has worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission, and served as a member of E-Estonia Council advising the Prime Minister of Estonia. Currently, he leads the Estonian Government’s Gender Equality Council.

He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues. In 2013, he received Estonia's National Science Award for his work on innovation policy. Rainer received his BA in political philosophy in 1996, MA in Classics in 1998, and PhD in Public Administration in 2001 (all University of Tartu, Estonia).

More about Rainer Kattel